Costa Rica has long been a leader in wellness travel. The country offers the perfect setting to disconnect and immerse in nature with green jungles, a beautiful coastline, and a slow-paced Pura Vida lifestyle.
Over the years, we’ve visited many of Costa Rica’s most well-known wellness destinations. We’ve soaked in the natural hot springs at the footsteps of Arenal Volcano and immersed ourselves in deep yoga practice in spiritual Nosara.
But our recent stay at The Retreat Costa Rica was the ultimate wellness escape!
The Retreat is a world-class holistic healing center, located just 40 mins from San Jose International Airport. Perched on the side of Crystal Quartz Mountain, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the resort offers everything you need for a wellness retreat in Costa Rica.
We fell in love with this spot and already dreaming about coming back here for another stay!
About The Retreat Costa Rica
The Retreat Costa Rica was the innovative dream of celebrity chef, best-selling author, and life-coach Diana Stobo. Her dream was to create a slice of paradise in Costa Rica that focused on renewing the mind, body and soul while emphasizing harmony with nature.
She built her own home on the side of Crystal Mountain. Over the years, she added facilities and rooms for guests. Over time, what started as a place for friends and family grew to become one of the best wellness retreats in Costa Rica.
Today, the Retreat Costa Rica features 18 elegant rooms, Vida Mia Healing Center and Spa, two farm-to-table organic restaurants, an on-site organic garden, two saltwater pools, a yoga studio, and a meditation deck. Surrounded by 60 acres of mountains and valleys, you’ll feel connected to nature with stunning views from the property.
Sustainability at The Retreat Costa Rica
One of the most stand-out features of the Retreat is its sustainability efforts. The resort is not chasing big eco-green hospitality labels or awards but instead, strives to offer a genuinely sustainable stay and encourage a sustainable lifestyle.
We were impressed by the number of sustainable initiatives incorporated into the day-to-day operations at the Retreat, including some of the following:
- 90% of the employees at the Retreat come from the local community. The Retreat has a number of programs in place to provide training and further education for staff.
- There is robust recycling and composting program throughout the property and energy and water-saving programs with regular monitoring.
- Chemical-free cleaning products are used throughout the retreat
- Chemical-free freshly made organic products are used for all spa treatments.
- All food prepared at the Retreat is locally sourced, grown either on the on-site organic farm or sourced from the surrounding community. The restaurant menu is plant-forward and promotes a meat-free and dairy lifestyle that goes beyond the stay.
- Local excursions and tours offered to guests include farmers’ market visits, coffee plantations tours, and nature walks
The Retreat promotes a healthy and eco-conscious lifestyle that we can certainly get behind!
The idea of rest and relaxation at The Retreat Costa Rica is enhanced by the beautiful spacious rooms nestled among lush vegetation. The rooms were built purposefully to minimize distractions from technology and enhance connection with nature or the outdoors.
The 18 guest rooms available at the Retreat are spread out across the property. The resort was full during our visit, but it never felt crowded or busy. It definitely felt like an exclusive and intimate way to explore one of the best yoga retreats in Costa Rica.
There are 3 room options to choose from. All are elegantly designed with plenty of natural light and big windows offering beautiful views.
- Deluxe Rooms offer a cozy stay with a King-sized bed featuring organic bedding and a private patio with views of the lush mountains. There are 6 of these guest rooms available at The Retreat. Price starts from $300/night for a room and breakfast or $425/night for a full-board stay for two people.
- Premium Room is a more spacious accommodation option at The Retreat. It features 2 Queen beds, a private balcony with views over the forest and ocean, and a bathtub for those extra relaxing moments. There are six of these rooms and prices start from $385/night for room and breakfast or $500/night for full board.
- Luxury Lofts are the largest rooms at the resort. They offer expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and an open plan design with a king-sized bed and a balcony with a swinging chair and a private sitting area. The all-glass open concept bathroom features a bathtub with views of the lush greenery below. These 6 lofts are brand new to the Retreat and are worth the extra splurge.
Facilities & Amenities
The Retreat Costa Rica is so much more than a regular hotel. The property features a range of facilities and amenities for guests to enjoy during their stay. There is a yoga pavilion, a fitness centre, a meditation deck, 2 saltwater pools, 2 restaurants, and a Vida Mia Healing Center and Spa.
Fitness Center is small but fully stocked, perfect for keeping your body moving. It features all the latest equipment, including treadmills, weights, exercise balls, and elliptical machines. If you want to kick your fitness goals into high gear, there is even a personal trainer on staff.
Yoga Pavillion is spacious and features huge French doors and mirrored walls, ideal for perfecting your posture and poses. The yoga studio is fully stocked with equipment including mats, bolsters and more and can fit about 15-20 people. Daily yoga sessions are available to guests at 8 am and 4 pm. The Retreat Costa Rica is often considered to be the best yoga retreat in Costa Rica, with many retreats taking place here throughout the year.
Saltwater Pool was our favourite feature at The Retreat. The pool features a therapeutic waterfall bordered by lush trees and sunbeds. There is also an elevated hot tub and spa opposite the waterfall, which is open day and night for a relaxing soak.
Vida Mia Healing Center and Spa Treatments
The Retreat Costa Rica is best known for its outstanding wellness resort spa, called Vida Mia. The spa focuses on Ayurveda balancing and other ancient therapies and rituals to enhance the guest experience. There are a variety of different treatment rooms, each focusing on a different aspect of healing. The treatment menu is extensive featuring everything from brightening facials to body scrubs, massages, and more advanced treatments like lymphatic drainage, reiki and reflexology.
The spa experience was one of our favourite parts of the stay at The Retreat. Not only were our treatments (the brightening facial and coffee body scrub) very good and relaxing, but the entire experience felt like a relaxing and restorative experience. We particularly enjoyed the digestive tea offered at the end of our treatments.
While you can book a regular room rate, enjoy great meals and spend your days chilling by the pool with a book in hand, the best part of staying at this type of wellness resort is their wellness packages. The signature wellness programs are results-driven and include programs like Art of Resting, Emotional Healing and Recovery, Fitness Reboot, and the Naked Challenge Signature Detox, developed by detox expert and retreat owner, Diana Stobo.
The packages range from 5 days to 3 weeks. Also it features a daily schedule custom designed to meet individual health and wellness goals.
Food & Drink at The Retreat Costa Rica
Food at Boca Dulce Restaurant on site was definitely the highlight of our stay. Every meal was a beautiful colourful farm-to-table experience, packed with healthy organic plant-forward ingredients.
We particularly loved the focus on an anti-inflammatory diet and the inclusion of superfoods grown in the organic gardens on-site and other produce grown in Costa Rica.
The menu changed daily and featured dairy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free dishes that were certainly not flavour-free. Vegan meals offered the right balance of nutrition and an incredible amount of flavour and colour. Talk about eating the rainbow!
The Retreat can be considered one of the few Costa Rica vegan resort options in the country. But Max especially appreciated that veganism was optional. Every meal featured a side option of freshly caught fish and grass-fed meats.
Gratitude Lounge Café
Meals, snacks and beverages at the Gratitude Lounge Cafe were unfortunately not included in our full-board stay, but we were very impressed with their vast selection of rare loose leaf teas, organic juices, and organic wines.
Activities at The Retreat Costa Rica
On top of the daily yoga and spa treatments, there’s plenty of tours and activities that you can join at The Retreat Costa Rica.
- Nature Hike is probably the most popular activity at The Retreat Costa Rica and it is one that we decided to join while at the resort. The 5km daily hike takes you through the slopes of the mountain, past the organic coffee plantation and back up to the resort, offering a nice easy exercise to kick off the day.
- Coffee Plantation Tour is a must-do for coffee lovers. This tour goes outside of the resort and to El Toledo, a family-run coffee plantation. It includes a 2-hour walking tour and an opportunity to learn about coffee growing and roasting processes.
- Atenas Cultural Tour is a walking tour that takes guests into the local community near The Retreat Costa Rica. The tour lasts 3 hours and takes place in the nearby town of Atenas where you can have the opportunity to meet local residents and learn how to make corn tortillas.
- Farmers Market Visit is a great way to peek behind the scenes of the incredible food served at The Retreat Costa Rica. This tour takes guests to the local market in Atenas for a guided shopping experience.
The Bottom Line
Our 2 nights at The Retreat Costa Rica offered a little taste of the experience guests can have at this amazing Costa Rica wellness resort. The deluxe rooms, stellar facilities, on-site spa, wellness programs and incredible food make this a destination in and of itself.
It’s surprisingly affordable considering the luxurious amenities, beautiful rooms and the facilities available to guests at The Retreat.
So whether you are looking for the ultimate yoga retreat in Costa Rica, a wellness getaway, or a laid-back hotel for a few nights during your time in Costa Rica, The Retreat is worth a stay!